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Dental Students show off clinical skills in 2019 Grand Final

It’s true that the opportunities for students to ‘get their hands dirty’ with practical dentistry until they are fully qualified are rare, but one such event that seeks to bridge the gap between the academic and the practical is the Dental Clinical Skills Competition.

Now in its fifth year, this competition – the brainchild of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh (RCSEd) and sponsored by Dentsply Sirona – is open to students from every dental school in the UK and Ireland, with heats held across the country to determine each school’s representative in the Grand Final. This year the competition attracted over 500 entrants – that’s 50% of the final year dental undergraduate population and is testament to the growing success of this initiative.

The winner of the competition was announced at a formal dinner held at the RCSEd and David Cobbett from Newcastle University was delighted to receive both the accolade and the winner’s trip to the Chicago Midwinter Meeting in 2020. He said, “This was one of the most rewarding activities I’ve ever been involved in and I would feel the same even if I hadn’t won. I would encourage future students to grasp this fantastic opportunity with both hands.”

Michael Davidson, Clinical Lead at Dentsply Sirona explained why their involvement is so important to the company. “The Dental Clinical Skills Competition gives Dentsply Sirona the opportunity to engage with final year dental students in a very positive way. Professional Development, Innovation and Oral Health improvement are central to what Dentsply Sirona do and our relationship with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in this venture demonstrates our commitment in a very tangible way.”

The winners of each heat, eighteen in all, were brought together for this year’s final held at the end of February in Edinburgh. Tasked with demonstrating their individual competency across nine different skill areas (restorative dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics, laparoscopy, dental anatomy, digital scanning, oral surgery, implants and communication skills), the contestants were given just 12 minutes to complete each task. Once time had elapsed, assessments were made and contestants moved to the next task, in all demonstrating two hours of non-stop, practical dental skills.

Materials and equipment were supplied by Dentsply Sirona with students asked to use the Palodent V3 sectional matrix system and SDR Flow+ to complete a restoration, whilst for the endodontic skills a ‘root canal procedure’ was completed using Wave One Gold® and for implants they demonstrated the skill of drilling into a (plastic) jaw to the required depth and then placed an OsseoSpeed EV implant. In keeping with the onset of digital dentistry the final now features a digital scanning assessment using CEREC® Omnicam and despite the fact that none of the participants had ever been exposed to CEREC technology before, these Millennials had no problem in handling the camera and made an excellent job of scanning the phantom heads.

There was also an opportunity for students to showcase their bedside manner in the Communication Skills section. For this task, contestants were given a scenario and were assessed based on their ability to explain the prognosis to the patient and outline the various treatment options. These kind of ‘soft skills’ are all too often overlooked in the drive for clinical excellence, but few would argue that communication is a skill which can be a determining factor in the success or otherwise of a dentist, so to see this area featured in a student assessment is a positive step forward.

The assessment for each skill area was determined by the student’s ability to demonstrate an understanding of how the task should be performed and then to display the requisite technical skills in carrying it out, as well as the final result. Some of the skills were clearly new to the students, but their flexibility in applying their academic knowledge to the tasks laid before them was clear for all to see.

Dr Brian Nattress, Senior Lecturer at Leeds University and Convener of Dental Education, Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, has been at the forefront of the Dental Clinical Skills competition since its inception, “I’m delighted that a representative from every dental school across the UK and Southern Ireland is involved in the competition, with a growing number of final year undergraduates taking part each year. It’s a fantastic opportunity for students to showcase their clinical skills across a wide range of procedures and techniques. There’s a great atmosphere at all the events; the students demonstrate the high standards of the next generation of dental practitioners with enthusiasm and dedication.”

To find out more about the Dental Clinical Skills Competition visit www.rcsed.ac.uk

 

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This information and any attachment thereto contains forward-looking information about Dentsply Sirona, Inc.'s financial results, guidance and estimates, business prospects, and products and services that involve substantial risks and uncertainties or other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. You can identify these statements by the use of words such as "may," "could," "estimate," "will," "believe," "anticipate," "think," "intend," "expect," "project," "plan," "target," "forecast", and similar words and expressions which identify forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, and other factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. For a discussion of such risks, uncertainties and other matters that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks relating to, among other factors, the market for dental product and services, pricing, future sales volume of the Company's products, the possibility of changing economic, market and competitive conditions, dependence on products, dependence on key personnel, technological developments, intense competition, market uncertainties, dependence on distributors, ability to manage growth, dependence on key suppliers, dependence on key members of management, government regulation, acquisitions and affiliations, readers are urged to carefully review and consider various disclosures made by the Company in its Annual Report on Form 10-K and in its reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this document or the attachments to reflect new information or future events or developments after the date any such statement is made.